Business Vulnerability And Disruption: Data From The 1993 Midwest Floods

Tierney, Kathleen J.
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Disaster Research Center
Understanding business vulnerability to disasters is important for loss estimation, hazard mitigation, disaster preparedness, and recovery planning. However, only a very small number of studies have focused systematically on that topic. This paper presents preliminary findings from a study of a random sample of 1079 businesses in Des Moines/Polk County, Iowa, a community that experienced extensive damage and disruption as a result of the Midwest floods of 1993. The study focused on a range of topics, including business dependence on lifeline services, the physical flood damage businesses experienced, lifeline service disruption, and the impacts that disruption had on businesses. This paper reports findings on the importance of different lifeline services for businesses in different economic sectors and on flood-related lifeline service interruptions and their impact on business operations.
Loss Estimation , Hazard Mitigation , Disaster Preparedness , Recovery Planning